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Blueberries: How to Pick, Cook and Bake

Blueberries

"Should I wash blueberries before I freeze them?"

Find answers to all your blueberry questions.

Blueberries couldn’t be a more effortless fruit. There’s no peeling, coring or cutting — just pick and enjoy! This native North American fruit has been prized for centuries.

There are two types of blueberries:

  • Highbush, or cultivated, blueberries are grown for primarily commercial use.

  • Lowbush, or wild, blueberries occur naturally and grow in carpetlike vines in northern areas.

Picking Blueberries

When you’re picking blueberries, make sure they are plump and firm and are a frosted indigo color. Blueberries do not ripen after picking, so avoid picking berries that aren’t fully ripened.

Blueberries are in peak season from late May to mid-August. One pint of blueberries is equal to 2 cups. Cover berries and store in the refrigerator after purchasing or picking. They will keep up to 10 days. Wash just before using.

Freezing Blueberries

Freezing bluberries is easy. Do not wash blueberries before freezing. The waxy coating protects them when frozen.

Spread berries on a cookie sheet or in a baking pan, and freeze until berries are frozen. Transfer them to a freezer container or a plastic freezer bag. If you’re planning to use frozen blueberries in baked goods, the color may bleed into the batter. To prevent this, be sure the berries are frozen solid and stir them into the batter just before baking.


Blueberries and Nutrition

Don’t let their small size fool you! Blueberries are a superfood with high nutritional value.

  • Blueberries are sometimes referred to as “brain berries” or brain food, because they are a top source of antioxidant phytonutrients. Early research suggests that regular consumption of phytonutrients may support healthy brain function.

  • Blueberries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, which are thought to prevent harmful cell damage and reduce “free-radicals” in the body. These may help slow the aging process.

  • Blueberries are a good source of Vitamin C, as well as potassium, magnesium and fiber.

  • Blueberries are lower in calories than many fruits and have zero fat.


Blueberry Recipes

Easy Blueberry Pancakes  Blueberry Raspberry Lattice Pie  Blueberry Muffins  Blueberry Freezer Jam  July 4th

Easy Blueberry
Pancakes

Blueberry
Raspberry Lattice
Pie

Blueberry
Muffins
 

 Blueberry Freezer
Jam

 Berries and Cream
Dessert Triangles

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Comments
1 - 10 of 11 Comments Previous  1 2  Next 
pawpawpritts said: Posted: 7/17/2011 7:48 PM
OK....I live in blueberry country....SW Michigan. In spite of all those who say don't wash them I have ALWAYS washed my berries. I put them in a big bowl of water, scoop into a colander and then put them on paper-towel lined cookie sheets and shake them to help them dry before putting in freezer bags.......... I don't have mushy berries.....if thawed totally they will be soft as all fruit would be.
 
rumbamel said: Posted: 7/15/2011 4:14 PM
Wouldn't the frozen berries have a coating of ice that would make it difficult to wash. Are you implying that the freezing would kill anything we would wash off. I think cooking might, but what if we are eating them frozen like in smoothies or putting them in other recipes where they won't be cooked 1st. Hmmm.
 
old one said: Posted: 7/15/2011 2:43 PM
I wash my blurberries before freezing, but I pat the berries dry first, put them on cookie sheets using parchment paper on the cookie sheet.When they are frozen hard, I then put the berries in freezer ziplock bags.
 
ldunton said: Posted: 7/15/2011 10:53 AM
Many cultivated berries are sprayed with chemicals. I have always washed mine before freezing just because I have children that are constantly pulling out the frozen berries to make smoothies or in their yogurt and I know these boys don't wash them!
 
None1109 said: Posted: 7/15/2011 6:40 AM
My grandaughter is diabetic, do you have any snack ideas for her?
 
MaggieA said: Posted: 7/14/2011 3:50 PM
I mix frozen blueberrys,strawberrys,and blackberry together for a great ice cream toping. Also great on pound cake.
 
Lorri-Ane said: Posted: 7/14/2011 3:26 PM
I always wash my blueberries before freezing. I pick them over and wash in a colunder. I don't think its a good idea to wash while frozen. Are you suggesting they don't need to be washed if you are going to cook them.
 
lmc-rn said: Posted: 7/14/2011 3:02 PM
I picked tons of high bush blueberies last summer and washed them before freezing. BIG mistake. When I went to use them, they thawed into a great big mush. I lost all my berries plus all the money it had cost to buy them
 
river.owl said: Posted: 7/14/2011 1:31 PM
I don't wash blueberries before I freeze them, just place them in a zip lock freezer bag, not on a cookie sheet. Then pour the amount I need into a colander and rinse them before using.
 
whatdoiknow said: Posted: 7/14/2011 1:18 PM
I always wash my blueberries BEFORE freezing. If you put frozen berries into a batter, are you putting in unwashed berries? As I said I have always washed them before freezing, that way when I want to eat or use them they are ready to go, no last minute washing needed. How DO you wash frozen berries??
 
1 - 10 of 11 Comments Previous  1 2  Next 
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